Mon. May 20th, 2024

Renowned For Sound

For the latest music reviews and interviews

Interview: Grinspoon

5 min read

Having enjoyed a successful career over these past 18 years with releases like their 1997 debut album, Guide To Better Living, 1999’s Easy and 2009’s Six To Midnight, Australian’s sons of rock, Grinspoon have come a long way since the bands Triple J’s Unearthed competition win back in the mid-nineties. Since then the four-piece have delivered a series of hit records to a global fan-base with six of the bands seven  studio releases falling into the Top 20 in the Australian charts.

Having released their latest record, Black Rabbits, at the end of 2012 and with a string of tour dates around their native Australia just around the corner, we caught up with Kristian Hope, Grinspoon’s drummer, in Brisbane this week to talk about the bands journey, their latest studio release and what we can expect from the bands upcoming tour. Here’s what he had to tell us:

Brendon Veevers: How is Grinspoon doing this week Kristian?

Kristian Hopes: Very good… We’re off to Mackay, Qld for River Sessions Festival with Bliss n Eso & Boy and Bear

BV: Your latest album, Black Rabbits was released in September last year. For those who haven’t heard the record yet, can you tell us a little about the new collection and the inspiration behind the new album?

KH: Black Rabbits (Bad Habits, cockney slang I think), was recorded in LA, USA, with Producer Dave Schiffman (Red Hot Chili Peppers/Bronx) over about 2 months.

It was a collection of songs we wrote over the last 2 years, and is a more melodic journey for us.

BV: Would you say the record carries a similar style to previous Grinspoon releases or did you opt on a change of musical direction for Black Rabbits?

KH: We opted for a more melodic experience for this one… I guess over all our albums we’ve tried to do something a little different for us to keep it interesting, and of course for the fans!

BV: The album has been out for 9 months so fans have had enough time to get to know the new tracks by now. How has the fan reaction been to the new collection?

KH: Good so far… We’ve done around 40 shows on the new record and try to play as many new songs as we can.  Obviously, people have been getting into the 2 singles we’ve released so far (Passerby & Branded), but overall I think it’s positive.

BV: Black Rabbits is your 7th release to reach the Top 10 in Australia. How does it feel for the band to be reaching such heights after 18 years recording together?

KH: It’s great!  We never dreamed that we would still be hanging out, let alone playing together in a band.

[youtube id=”CuiIze-EZT0″ width=”620″ height=”360″]

BV: What do you think is the bands secret to longevity?

KH: Personal space… When we started playing, we all used to live together and hang out all the time, and these days we mostly all live in different states and do our own thing out side of the band… but when we come together for tours and other band related things the spark is still there for us.

BV: What do you think new bands need to survive in the music industry today?

KH: If I knew I would write a book about it, but the best advice I could give would be, play as many shows as you can, write new stuff all the time and never give up.

BV: When do you decide that the time is right for a new Grinspoon record? Is it spontaneous or planned decision?

KH: We never say ‘we’re going into the studio and the process starts now… ‘It’s a liquid thing… We’ve always just kept writing through our whole career… Once we’ve done our 2 year cycle with an album, we usually have enough songs and a direction that we want to travel next, so album scheduling and that stuff get put in place as needed.

BV: At what point in the creative process do you sit back and say to yourselves, “It’s ready for release”?

KH: It’s never ready for release, there’s always something else you might want to do or record or something… But, at some stage you just have to let go.

[youtube id=”eC6eAKE6wI0″ width=”620″ height=”360″]

BV: What’s the most enjoyable part of creating a brand new studio album?

KH: Having new songs to play and taking it on the road for the first time

BV: You will be taking the record out on the road over the next couple of months with shows scheduled all over Australia including one here at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on 10th August. What can fans expect from the upcoming shows?

KH: We’ll be playing a few tracks off the new record and ol’ faves of course

BV: Does anyone in the band get particularly rowdy or crazy on tour? Any stories you can share with us?

KH: Jammo does… He goes bike crazy.  He just needs to ride his bike all day & night (OCD B)

BV: Apart from the upcoming Black Rabbits tour, what else is on the Grinspoon calendar for 2013?

KH: We have lots of Festivals coming up and a few special events to watch out for… Should be a pretty busy end of year for us

BV: Thanks for the chat Kristian

KH: Thanks Brendon